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7 People You Should Talk to When You Feel Lost

7 People You Should Talk to When You Feel Lost
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Life is like a roller coaster. There are ups, downs, plunges, and sharp turns. Expect them and prepare to deal with them. Your emotional status takes a major hit during these periods, and reality can become clouded. The mind occasionally seems blank; what course of action to take next is quite unclear. It takes being lost in life at times in order to find your correct path and purpose. And the reality of this discovery can be downright scary.

Having the right attitude is foremost; resolve to be optimistic and confident. Be as American’s premier First Lady, Martha Washington, and declare, I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance; but, by our disposition.

Conversing with reliable people when dealing with change and adversity is of amazing benefit. It’s fantastic for your mental, physical and relationship health. Sharing how you feel, sharing what’s going on in your life, and in your head brings relief. It is such a good feeling to know that you are not alone during your trials.

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When faced with challenges, another crucial step (in taking charge and pursuing triumph) is talking them out. No man is an island. We all need someone to chat with in the happy times, and definitely in the melancholy times. Here are 7 People You Should Talk to When You Feel Lost – they will navigate you into the right direction.

1. Pastors

After you assure that your diet and exercise routine are in order, the spiritual or religious plane is the next best area to approach. When the mind and spirit are in harmony, great things can happen. And for sure, If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. (Author Unknown) Your pastor or other spiritual leader will be able to give you wisdom and understanding to achieve a suitable conquest. They will help you believe in yourself and your innate abilities. In many cases help will be available to enhance your skill set.

2. Teachers

Sometimes you listen to your teachers faster than you listen to your parents. For certain you spend many hours with them on a daily basis. They know a lot about you; they know how to get your attention. Real teachers genuinely care about you. They are forever instructing you to concentrate and keep your dialogue positive. Evidence is conclusive that your self-talk has a direct bearing on your performance. (Zig Ziglar) Do not hesitate to speak with your teachers about feeling lost. They want to help you.

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3. A Parent or Other Trustworthy Relative

Neither your friends nor family members are able to always be there for you. Nonetheless, it is essential that you take the time to talk with them. Not everyone has wonderful parents; but for each person who does, it is well worth it to talk with them about your troubles. After all, they are closest to you, they love you and they have been there, done that already. No one can tell you like a mom or dad to Just remember – when you think all is lost, the future remains. (Robert H. Goddard) It is so potent and holds such incredible meaning when it comes from their lips. No one gives you hope and stick-to-it-iveness like your parents.

Talking things over with your dad, mom or other responsible family member can significantly reduce your stress level. The fact that they understand what you are dealing with and are sincerely concerned eliminates a whole lot of worry and heartache.

In How to Talk to Your Parents by Camille Peri, Kathy McCoy, MD asserts that “Nobody is going to care about and love you with the intensity of your parents — even when you’re trying to push away from them. As intense and wonderful as friendships can be – and some of them are for life, but most of them aren’t – you can count on your parents when your friends might flake on you. Talking to your parents doesn’t mean you’re acting like a kid again. You can ask their opinion and you don’t have to accept everything they say.”

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4. A Genuine Friend

There really is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. And this is the comrade that you want to pour your heart out to. You can do this will a bonafide friend because they know when to talk and when to be quiet. They are super listeners and have no problem giving you the straight truth – even if it stings because they will be right there to apply soothing easement. They are experts at distinguishing your logic and intellect from your emotions.

Yes, real friends are aware that All of our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling. (Blaise Pascal) When you feel lost and out of it, you tend not to see things as they really are or can be. Your genuine friend picks up the slack for you. True friends support one another when the going is tough as well as when the merriment soars.

5. A Mentor or Life Coach

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come. (Joseph Campbell) If there was no disruption in your life, you would roll with the status quo and never grow. Consequently, in each life – including yours – some rain drops do fall. They get pretty heavy sometimes and cause you to reel and rock.

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A personal mentor or coach is idea for getting help and guidance at such a time as this. He or she is trained to help you realize why this change is necessary now. With a life coach or mentor’s assistance, you begin to understand the true meaning behind the challenges, and the requirements for excelling through them. The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves. Steven Spielberg

6. A Person Held in High Regard

If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before. (J Loren Norris) Like most folks, there is someone in your business network, on your job, or in your organization that you greatly esteem. They are just where you want to be when you grow up! Is there any better person to discuss your present concerns with? Most probably they have already encountered what you are now faced with, and will give you the exact formula for getting through it. They can even provide you with tried and true shortcuts!

7. A Manager and Upper Level Manager

The workplace is filled with issues and ordeals. When talking with your co-workers, teammates, and supervisors fail to bring results, it’s time to take things to a higher level. Often, upper management is not informed or is not correctly informed of what’s going on in the workplace. This is why you must step up and address your concerns with them one-on-one. The best managers lead by example, give employees feedback, and make mentoring their employees a priority. (Dianne Shaddock)

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Feeling lost or stuck in a rut is truly a good place to be on occasion. It can be an important chapter in your life for gaining knowledge about yourself and about your own desires. If you govern yourself wisely, you’ll be quite astonished and pleased with the results after finding your way out of the maze, the fog, the lostness. Listening to your heart is not simple. Finding out who you are is not simple. It takes a lot of hard work and courage to get to know who you are and what you want. (Sue Bender) This is why it is so important to recruit help.

Featured photo credit: From Josephine Ferraro via psychotherapist-nyc.blogspot.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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